Denver, Colorado, also known as “The Mile High City,” is home to 2.7 million residents and combines interests in current technology with an outdoor lifestyle. With that comes a laidback and relaxed feel as well as a strong business presence and local economy. Situated 5,280 feet above sea level, it can take a little time to get used to the elevation, though healthy individuals should not experience any notable effects. In fact, the locals are considered some of the fittest and slimmest in the country. There are 205 parks located in the city of Denver and approximately 20,000 acres of parkland in the Rocky Mountains.
The city of Denver also boasts an extensive public transit system including buses, light rail, subways, and trollies. This makes the area very friendly to those who prefer to commute without using a car. In fact, a bike sharing system also operates through the city, giving additional options to those who do not own a car and cannot store a bike on their own property.
Denver was ranked the top metro area for business and careers in 2016, cementing the city as a prime destination for those interested in starting in a new field or advancing in their current line of work. In fact, the local median household income is about 15 percent higher than the national median income.
This metro area has one of the strongest economies in the nation. By 2030, the population in the Denver area is expected to increase by almost 50 percent. Along with that growth will come approximately 800,000 new jobs being created in the area.
With an area and population as large as the Denver metro, educational opportunities abound. Whether you want to start with the community college experience, attend a full-fledged university for your four-year degree, or pursue advanced degrees at some of the nation’s leading institutions, options are available for students interested in a wide array of subjects. Numerous schools in the area also offer some unique learning opportunities based in their specialized facilities.
Here is just a sampling of what the Denver metro area has to offer in the way of education.
University of Colorado Denver
The University of Colorado Denver is a mid-sized public university that is home to about 13,500 undergraduate students and 9,200 graduate students. The school offers some unique facilities including computational math centers, a transportation research center, and an environmental science center. UC Denver offers over 100 academic degree and program options to students ranging from incoming freshmen to those pursuing Ph.D.’s. Degrees are available in a wide variety of fields including architecture, arts and media, business, education, engineering, sciences, medicine, and more. Professional certificates are also available for those looking to advance in specific skill areas within the open fields.
Metropolitan State University of Denver
One out of every five Colorado undergraduates chooses to enroll at Metropolitan State University of Denver. The university offers 58 majors, 83 minors, and 28 certificate programs. Custom degree options are also available, as well as a selection of Master’s degree programs for those looking to pursue advanced degrees. MSU Denver is considered a large university with over 20,000 undergraduate students. Some of the unique facilities offered by the school include various art galleries, a CAD/CAM laboratory, and a world indoor airport.
University of Denver
The University of Denver is a medium-sized private university located in the city of Denver. The institution offers certificate programs as well as traditional bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. Over 5,700 undergraduate students call the university home as well as more than 6,000 graduate students. UD has an onsite observatory, high-altitude research center, testing facilities for mechanical engineering students, and an early learning center. Over 100 undergraduate programs are available. Traditional classroom learning is often supplemented with applied learning experiences such as fieldwork and internships. Dual degree programs even allow undergraduates to complete a bachelor’s and an advanced degree faster than when the two are pursued separately.
Regis University is divided into five colleges, each with a different focus area. Regis College features options in liberal arts, pre-professional degrees, and sciences while the College of Contemporary Liberal Studies has programs in social sciences, psychology, communications, and more. The College of Computer and Information Sciences houses programs in technology-based fields and the College of Business and Economics works to develop the leaders of tomorrow’s business world. Finally, Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professionals provides options to those interested in health-oriented degrees.
Community College of Denver
For those interested in completing an Associate’s degree, Community College of Denver offers options for future transfer students as well as those interested in proceeding directly into the workforce of their chosen field. Certificate programs are also available to provide targeted training in a variety of areas include healthcare and business.
Denver enjoys a diverse economy, and a variety of sectors are experiencing significant growth. In fact, the health industry even withstood the challenges of the Great Recession to see notable growth. The expansion of Denver International Airport and the opening of a new commuter rail line also supported the development of the local economy. The reasonable cost of living combined with various local amenities has made Denver very attractive to small businesses looking for new homes. Companies like Phidiax, Swiftpage, and Stoneside Blinds & Shades all set up shop in the area. For those looking for employment opportunities in the Denver metro area, here are some of the sectors that are experiencing some of the most growth.
Denver hosts almost 6 percent of the nation’s aerospace industry. That meant jobs for just shy of 20,000 people in 2015. Aerospace provides opportunities for those interested in engineering, fabrication, and machining, as well as the management and administrative positions needed to keep things moving.
Some of the aerospace companies that have operations in the Denver metro area include:
• Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation
• The Boeing Company
• Lockheed Martin
• United Launch Alliance
In fact, Colorado has the second largest aerospace industry in the United States. Only California has a larger space-oriented economy. In fact, the area celebrates Aerospace Day at the Colorado Capitol on an annual basis to show appreciation for what the industry has done for the local economy.
The beverage production sector doesn’t necessarily garner a lot of attention. However, the Denver area is home to approximately 10 percent of the craft breweries in the nation. In 2015, the industry saw an increase in the amount of 5.2 percent. And these companies need more than brewing aficionados to keep them running. Major companies also call the Denver area home. Most notably, Coors Brewing Company centers many of their operations out of their nearby Golden, Colorado facility. The brewery was established in 1873, and it is considered the largest brewing facility in the world.
People with experience in business, marketing, human resources, chemistry, and a variety of other skills can all find opportunities in the beverage production sector. So don’t feel limited by the industries title; there is much more to the industry than actively brewing beer.
Part of the larger medical community, Denver has a high employment concentration of medical device and diagnostic companies. For example, Cytoskeleton, Inc., and TranS1 both operate in the Denver area. Universities focused on research and innovation help support the larger industry. Overall, the medical device sector saw growth of 2.8 percent in 2015 alone.
Both fossil fuels and clean energy have strong footholds in the Denver area. In fact, cleantech showed the fastest growth of any other local industry in 2015, coming in at 23.7 percent. With Denver’s health-oriented lifestyle vibe, it’s no surprise that green technology is embraced by the local population. Xcel Energy hires in the Denver area, as well as Halliburton in nearby Fort Lupton.
Medical/Health and Wellness
Functioning as a hub for healthcare in the region, Denver provides access to sophisticated, cutting-edge healthcare technology. Being home to one of the fittest populations in the entire United States, those looking for an active lifestyle can also find employment options in the health and wellness field. Overall, the healthcare and wellness industry has seen over 12-consecutive years of growth, making it a staple for the local economy.
Technology & IT
Denver has been known for its technology sector for some time, and recent growth in the industry shows that it is still a reliable option for many seeking employment in the area. As of 2015, over 48,000 people were employed in the sector, and ranks in the top 10 metro regions for information technology jobs in the nation.
A city of this size offers career opportunities to those interested in almost any major profession and a high variety of career levels. Whether you are an entry-level accountant, a mid-range engineer, a medical professional, or technology supervisor, positions can be found in the Denver metro area. Additionally, the low unemployment numbers mean the call for skilled workers is high in many fields, making it an excellent choice for those in any stage of their career. Though opportunities may arise in any sector, here are some areas where career options abound.
In fact, Denver’s population growth has increased the demand for skilled workers associated with the home building field. This includes those who like getting their hands dirty on the job, like carpenters and electricians, as well as those responsible for designing and engineering the structures. While some of the skills required to work in the home construction field can be learned on the job, others need some formal education and certification to work in the local area.
One technical area that has seen significant growth is the cyber security field. In fact, employers across the state posted openings for more than 11,000 cyber security professionals during 2016, with almost 7,000 of those positions located in the Denver area. As the number of cyber attacks and threats increase, the demand for skilled professionals in this field will likely remain. Other technical positions can be found with companies like Lockheed Martin and CenturyLink. The IBM Corporation and Comcast also have facilities in the Denver area.
The demand for all levels of healthcare workers is expected to continue growing especially as more baby boomers retire and the demands on local medical systems expand. This means opportunities for anyone working in the field ranging from medical assistants to neurosurgeons. Support personnel will also be needed to manage appointment scheduling, records updating, and the performance of lab-based testing. Some of the largest health system employers in the city include the HealthONE Corporation and SCL Health System.
Denver serves as one of the ten hub cities for United Airlines. Over 400 flights operated by the airline come through Denver International Airport on a daily basis, and many corporate operations are also managed in the area.
Government and Education
Many government operations are also based in the Denver area. This includes opportunities with large federal organizations as well as state government facilities. Public school systems also function as large employers, as well as area colleges and universities.
For those interested in part-time or seasonal positions, work at the local resorts may be a suitable option. Facilities range from traditional ski lodges to modern casinos and relaxing day spas. While winter tourism is often the bigger draw, Denver has opportunities for outdoor adventure all year-round. You can enjoy some of the beautiful local scenery, and possibly get an employee discount if you want to spend some recreational time on the slopes during winter break.
Local students and residents have the opportunity to enjoy everything Denver has to offer in regards to personality and lifestyle. With anticipated economic growth and desirable features for outdoor enthusiasts, it’s no wonder so many people choose to make the Denver area home. Whether you are interested in starting your own business or are interested in joining one of the companies currently operating in the area, there is a call for most professions within the city.